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  1. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carmen Ovsiannikov View Post
    Oh and go Ben!

    Even though his name hardly ever comes up in porny skater conversations, I always thought Ben was cute and his personality does add to that. For some reason this season and in Vancouver in particular, he was looking rather .
    You are right! Ben is a really nice guy and he seems to have a great sense of humour. I was always glad that he has been there to protect Tanith all the time. They are a perfect match. I thought he looked really great in the Latin OD 2006!
    The following beard-phase was not totally mine, but now he is really handsome again. The mixture of his great personality and his likable looks just do it for me! And he has a nice butt, not to forget...

  2. #82
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    It seems like Bourne and Kraatz and Belbin and Agosto were both shafted in kind of the same way, and I think it's because they skate to more fun, popular-themed programs, which don't really have the dramatic, romantic connection that the judges seem to look for. It's too bad, because they're both good teams and different styles should be appreciated.

  3. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by blue_idealist View Post
    It seems like Bourne and Kraatz and Belbin and Agosto were both shafted in kind of the same way, and I think it's because they skate to more fun, popular-themed programs, which don't really have the dramatic, romantic connection that the judges seem to look for. It's too bad, because they're both good teams and different styles should be appreciated.
    I don't know. Tanith and Ben were 2006 Olympic Silver Medalists. They weren't getting shafted then. It was after they left Igor that the shafting began.

  4. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by cruisin View Post
    I don't know. Tanith and Ben were 2006 Olympic Silver Medalists. They weren't getting shafted then. It was after they left Igor that the shafting began.

    Well, they won the OD at worlds last year, and ended up in second overall...under Natalia and Gennady.... I'm still not sure what changed going into this year!!
    Last edited by HSGP21; 03-01-2010 at 08:46 PM.

  5. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by HSGP21 View Post
    Well, they won the OD at worlds last year, and ended up in second overall...under Natalia and Gennady.... I'm still not sure what changed going into this year!!
    Domnina/Shabalin won worlds last year. Virtue/Moir were 3rd. D/S were pushed by Linichuk. V/M and D/W improved a lot and were with Igor. Tanith and Ben left Igor - strike 1, they shared a coach (with an agenda) with D/S - strike 2. They got shafted.

  6. #86
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    V&M clearly were not 100% at last years worlds, and D&W were viewed as US #2s and were undermarked...the end result produced a silver medal for B&A. The other Shpilband teams simply surpassed them this season, it was inevitable. Tanith never has had the best posture in close holds, nor outstanding leg line with her freeleg. I honestly thought their Chopin FD was one of if not the best FD they have had as far as competition material is concerned. They have just had the misfortune of being around at the same time as several other very talented teams. I've always liked their skating, I just haven't LOVED it, aside from this years FD - although very good, just not as fast or as difficult as the top 2 teams.

  7. #87
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    I almost hate posting comparisons of B&A to the other teams since it always ends up the same and at this point some of us have opinions that no matter how we go over them with a fine tooth comb aren't going to change.

    I agree that V&M did move ahead of B&A this season and I can see why.

    However, everytime someone brings up Tanith's supposed subpar skating skills I only end up thinking that Meryl isn't all that different in that department than Tanith was. D&W and V&M may have improved but so have other teams, B&A among them. Actually because of Tessa's injury, it's easier to see the jump in performance level in V&M than I can with D&W. I think if not for Tessa's injury last season they might have won the silver in front of Tanith and Ben.

    I see more improvement or change in V&M and B&A than I have in D&W. By that I don't mean that D&W are bad or have regressed. It's just that D&W have been known for their speed and technical ability since they debuted as seniors in 2007, that's nothing new. What D&W had/have is great choreography (especially last years FD and this years OD) and they continue to work on their expression. Meryl in particular was good in the Bollywood OD.

    I continue to not understand the rush to explain how Tanith wasn't good and this year apparently still is not yet D&W are and have passed by them. I still believe that D&W and B&A are equal but in different ways. What's that saying? Six of one, a half dozen of the other. No matter how many times I watch the program again I just don't get why D&W are seen as being a dominant team along with V&M. At the moment, V&M even with not so great choreography is the best NA team with D&W and B&A a little bit behind them. D&W aren't (IMHO) on V&M's level yet no matter how those in the figure skating community have spun it this sesaon.

    I agree with cruisin, B&A got shafted. D&W do have talent and are very good but there was more to what happened to B&A IMO than skating skills or supposed lack of them.

  8. #88
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    B&A got shafted by their federation--before the Olympics. The Russian couple was hobbled and the French lady decided that having a baby was more important than competing for an OGM. And last, B&A got shafted by their federation. That left two couples as legitimate contenders for the ice dancing gold medal. This was a given prior to the Olympic competition. V&M and D&W knew, beforehand, that they were the only two couples competing for the first two spots. The Russians knew that they had the edge for the bronze. Prior to, B&A knew that they were not destined for the podium. V&M and D&W were very crisp and clean throughout, more so then all of the other couples. If you know that you're competing for the gold, would it not compel one to be at their absolute best. Whereas, if you're not competing for gold, or even silver, rather the bronze, or not even that, you're not going to be quite as sharp. The Russians were limping around and the French lady looked like she had just had a baby and B&A looked resigned to their fate. If the latter had been in a position to contend for the gold, I think that we would have seen a completely different B&A. European countries and Russia specifically, do not undermine their lead couple, unlike the Americans. It has been done before, by the Americans. I won't mention names. If a couple is to be setback, let it be done at worlds or the Olympics, but don't have that couple's own federation stick a knife in their backs. B&A had the prestige of being the only reigning Olympic medalists in the competition, the other two couples had retired, if I'm not mistaken. Okay, so D&W won the silver--so what. B&A had already won a silver four years earlier and would at the very least, have won a second one--or they may have won the gold medal. Perhaps if they had had the support all along, going back to their old coach and including their federation, much would have been changed. They would have entered the Olympic competition primed and sharp, full of spirit and ready to do battle. D&W won the silver. Well, they won't be winning gold four years hence, in Russia! No way, baby. I'd be surprised if V&M even show up. But that's just my opinion.

  9. #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gene View Post
    Entire post...But that's just my opinion.
    You have presented that as your opinion. However, I believe you presented the facts, spot on. Tanith and Ben were punished for leaving Igor, plain and simple. And they wound up getting shafted by their own coach as well. It became glaringly clear that D/S would get the bronze when Linichuk went nuclear about sabotage, over the costume issue. She was clearly pushing for "the home team". Tanith and Ben didn't have a home base pushing for them. Last year, when Ben hurt his back and they had to pull out of Nationals, I said to a friend (then), this will be their undoing. If Meryl and Charlie win Nationals (in '09), Tanith and Ben will never get it back next year (this year). I said that the combination of leaving Igor and missing last year's Nationals would push them right off the podium. I am sorry that I was right . I have been critical of Tanith's toe point and extension, at times (though I do think that is one area that Linichuk really improved). I have been critical of many of Igor's teams for that very reason. His choreography is fabulous, but he seems to forget about technique at times. That said, I still think that T&B skated with a skill level, grace, and experience that was deserving of a medal. I do not think that T&B were bested by M&C, as far as skating. I do think that M&C had better choreography, but is that their achievement or their choreographer's? T&B beat D&S by a mile, but that was not going to be the outcome.

  10. #90
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    Well said cruisin .They got shafted but what is done is done and no matter how we analyze this or that it won't change the fact that they were left behind by their Federation.I am not sad anymore about them not medaling at the Olympics , i am sad about ice dancing in general .As much as i like V/M, D/W and many of the leading teams i don't like the way ice dance goes .I like faster skating but it become speed skating ("Comon,faster ,faster, lets finish already "), i like athletic lifts but they've become acrobatic tricks and not the Cirque de Soleil ones and now with French D/S and B/A posible retirement we don't have many teams who would present Ice dance in its best.Well,thank god for P/B , F/S , K/N who still care about the artistic side and still trying to be innovative but for now i don't see many teams to follow in their footsteps.Their should be a progress i agree but the direction is wrong and is killing Ice Dance.

  11. #91
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    I have to wonder how much they hurt themselves by skipping the GPF for the tooth issue. To me, it seemed like they were afraid of losing a head to head competition with their biggest rivals. As for Linichuk, what do we know her to have said/done that proves that she was pushing for one team over the other? I find the scenario believable, but what evidence is there for these statements? As for D&W, I found their speed and their lifts to be superior, but their technical skills otherwise on the same level as B&A; but in a competition as close as this one, that is more than enough to receive the higher scores. I don't think B&A "got shafted"...I thought their scores and placement were very fair.

  12. #92

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    Quote Originally Posted by Carmen Ovsiannikov View Post
    However, everytime someone brings up Tanith's supposed subpar skating skills I only end up thinking that Meryl isn't all that different in that department than Tanith was.
    D/W were the fresh, exciting #2 team rising up the ranks while B/A were the top team contending for major titles and along with that came getting criticized all the time. Fans break down the top 3-4 teams in contention for gold/the podium but the #5-6-7 teams aren't under the same microscope. It's like B/A were held to a different standard by being the best US team. While I know D/W have many fans here (and I quite like them myself) I wouldn't be surprised at all to see the amount of criticism about their skating increase significantly now that they're not only the top US team but Olympic silver medalists.


    Quote Originally Posted by cruisin View Post
    ..I have been critical of many of Igor's teams for that very reason. His choreography is fabulous, but he seems to forget about technique at times...
    I agree with your post but just have to say a huge thank you to Paul MacIntosh...

  13. #93
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    Quote Originally Posted by OlieRow View Post
    I agree with your post but just have to say a huge thank you to Paul MacIntosh...
    Yes, they had good technique before they went to Igor.

  14. #94

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    Tanith has apologised to fans for not competing at worlds.

    TanithJLB Sorry to those hoping to see us @Worlds but it felt like the right time to wrap up this season.Kim&Brent will be amazing in our place!

    Throughout their eligible career I found them very up and down with their programs. But I think they are great role models and have a lot of respect for them as people. Hope with whatever in life they choose they have a great future and achieve everything they want.
    When you are up to your arse in alligators it is difficult to remember you were only meant to be draining the swamp.

  15. #95
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gene View Post
    .......Perhaps if they had had the support all along, going back to their old coach and including their federation, much would have been changed. .......
    I don't believe that B&A were punished for leaving Speilband (sp). This is something that occurs all the time in ice dance. The lead couple sees that the coach is spending more time with the second couple, favoring them, and they leave for another coach. At some point, Speilband and probably in company with the U.S. federation, began discussing the overall situation going into the upcoming Olympics and which American couple would have the best chance competing for the gold medal. The two European couples were obviously not at their best. If they had been, it might have been more of a dog fight. It was a North American Olympics. All these were considerations. There would be really only two couples competing for the top two spots: V&M and the lead American couple, presumably B&A. V&M are young and fresh. Why not counter that with our own new couple: D&W. Now you have two young sparkling couples, instead of one competing with an older couple that has been around a while. Which couple gives the U.S. the best chance to win the Olympic gold medal in ice dance: D&W or B&A? That was the question posed. It was decided the former--D&W. And B&A, in slow degrees, felt that support slipping away, from their coach and from their federation. Leaving Speilband played no part in it. Their fate was sealed regardless, whether they stayed with him or not. That's the knife in the back.

    B&A had accrued lots of prestige over time: reigning Olympic silver medalists; reigning world silver medalists. They were on the top rung of the ladder. The lead Russian couple had injury problems. They were poised to reap the benefits. That is how ice dance has always been. They appreciate the couple who has been around a while and paid their dues, by working their way up the ladder. The Europeans respect that attribute. In my opinion, B&A were in position to win the first Olympic gold medal in ice dancing for the U.S. They were not setback at the previous Olympics and they weren't setback at worlds. They were setback by their own federation. And kids, that opportunity, lost, won't present itself again for a long, long time. And that's my opinion.
    Last edited by Gene; 03-03-2010 at 09:12 AM.

  16. #96
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    Latest tweet from Tanith:

    TanithJLB Great dinner celebrating the Olympics and saying goodbye to Ox&Max tonight. Things are changing so quickly! 50/50; Exciting/Scary!

    Wow, DomShab have already left. That was quick! But maybe this increases our chances to see Tanith and Ben again in competitions next season - now that they are the number one team for their coaches!

  17. #97
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gene View Post
    I don't believe that B&A were punished for leaving Speilband (sp). This is something that occurs all the time in ice dance. The lead couple sees that the coach is spending more time with the second couple, favoring them, and they leave for another coach. At some point, Speilband and probably in company with the U.S. federation, began discussing the overall situation going into the upcoming Olympics and which American couple would have the best chance competing for the gold medal. The two European couples were obviously not at their best. If they had been, it might have been more of a dog fight. It was a North American Olympics. All these were considerations. There would be really only two couples competing for the top two spots: V&M and the lead American couple, presumably B&A. V&M are young and fresh. Why not counter that with our own new couple: D&W. Now you have two young sparkling couples, instead of one competing with an older couple that has been around a while. Which couple gives the U.S. the best chance to win the Olympic gold medal in ice dance: D&W or B&A? That was the question posed. It was decided the former--D&W. And B&A, in slow degrees, felt that support slipping away, from their coach and from their federation. Leaving Speilband played no part in it. Their fate was sealed regardless, whether they stayed with him or not. That's the knife in the back.

    B&A had accrued lots of prestige over time: reigning Olympic silver medalists; reigning world silver medalists. They were on the top rung of the ladder. The lead Russian couple had injury problems. They were poised to reap the benefits. That is how ice dance has always been. They appreciate the couple who has been around a while and paid their dues, by working their way up the ladder. The Europeans respect that attribute. In my opinion, B&A were in position to win the first Olympic gold medal in ice dancing for the U.S. They were not setback at the previous Olympics and they weren't setback at worlds. They were setback by their own federation. And kids, that opportunity, lost, won't present itself again for a long, long time. And that's my opinion.
    ITA. I felt the US federation made the wrong decision by not supporting Belgosto this season. D&W are great but I didn't think the judges were going to give them the gold. In the end, I truly felt it was a missed opportunity for the US to get gold in ice dance and it may not be as close again. I expect the Russians or Europeans will dominate ice dance again.

  18. #98
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    I'm really not sure what the future will bring for ice-dance! Either V/M and D/W continue dominating the competition, than theoretically other teams have to go the same path and become more athletic etc. Or Europeans and Russians will dominate the scene again and than the style would go back to more dancing and art, rather than spectacular lifts. Both have advantages and disadvantages.

  19. #99
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    Gene, I'm not going to re-quote your post for room's sake. But, you say that you don't feel that B/A were punished for leaving Igor. Yet, the top two medals went to two of Igor's teams. And you say that they were set back by their own federation. A federation that has been in bed with Igor for the past decade. If you doubt Igor's pull with the US federation just consider Jamie Silverstein and Ryan O'Meara making the O team. That was set up, big time.

  20. #100

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    Quote Originally Posted by Indra486 View Post
    ITA. I felt the US federation made the wrong decision by not supporting Belgosto this season. D&W are great but I didn't think the judges were going to give them the gold. In the end, I truly felt it was a missed opportunity for the US to get gold in ice dance and it may not be as close again. I expect the Russians or Europeans will dominate ice dance again.
    Politics had nothing to do with it. D&W were just purely better than B&A. But at the Olympics V&M were better than D&W. I truly believe the skating spoke for itself this season. With regard to the North American scene, the judges did the right thing and had the right skaters in the right places.
    When you are up to your arse in alligators it is difficult to remember you were only meant to be draining the swamp.

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